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Re: Beginner information

Original poster: "J. B. Weazle McCreath" <weazle-at-hurontel.on.ca> 

At 06:49 PM 24/06/04 -0600, you wrote:

 >Original poster: Joel <Number6-at-gmail-dot-com>
 >My name is Joel, and I'm 16 years old. I've been interested in Tesla
 >coils for a number of years, and I've finally got up the nerve to
 >build one.
 >My goal is to build a small coil powered from a wall wart or batteries
 >capable of producing fairly tiny (1 inch perhaps?) arcs.  Is this a
 >resonable (read possible) goal?

Hi Joel,

Even a quite small Tesla coil will have no problem producing 1 inch
discharges, so you're not asking for the impossible by any means.

My first coil was powered by an oil burner ignition transformer,
or OBIT for short, which can be scrounged from your local heating
contractor for a few $ or even free.  An effective spark gap can
be made from three or four short lengths of copper water pipe laid
parallel to one-another with a spacing of about two business cards
between them.  My first capacitor was a "beer bottle cap" using a
dozen Coronna bottles in a five gallon plastic pail.  Check out
the Geek Group's "Bucket Cap" for details on how to build one in
less than an hour.  Wind your primary coil out of large gauge bare
copper wire or even better, 1/4 inch copper tubing.  The secondary
can be wound on a scrap of 4 inch PVC water pipe, with somewhere
around 1000 to 1500 turns of number 24 or 26 gauge magnet wire.
For a top load, use some flexible dryer ducting formed into a
circle around a couple of aluminum pie plates.

The best advise I can give you is to simply check out a number of
the excellent web sites of the coilers on this list.  There is a
real wealth of info and ideas to look over.  Don't be afraid of
asking questions either, we're all here to help each other.
Lastly, have fun but BE SAFE in doing so!

73, Weazle, VE3EAR/VE3WZL

Details of my "Hyperbaric Gap" and Tesla coil are at: